Critics should reserve judgment on Cassel-Vrabel trade

Aaron DodgeAnalyst IMay 15, 2009

When the Patriots brass made the decision to send quarterback Matt Cassel and outside linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for a second round pick, fans and analysts showed some understandable anger and confusion

Some felt that the trade was very one-sided, and others insisted that the trade market and cap issues had everything to do with it.

While some observers saw a silver lining in the deal, few appeared content with it. Before this thing gets carried away, I'm calling for a timeout on the speculation.

It's far too early to judge the trade, and besides, the Patriots are still in the black in regards to trades whether or not this one pans out.

With the second pick of the second round of the 2009 draft, New England selected safety Patrick Chung from Oregon.

With a tentatively solid-looking safety corps ahead of him on the depth chart, the rookie isn't projected to start or see a huge amount of playing time in his first year.

That means that it might be a while before we see what this kid is truly capable of as he learns the ropes and possibly prepares to replace James Sanders (some reports suggest that Chung eventually could play strong safety and Brandon Meriweather could move to free safety.)

With that said, the jury is still out—as it should be—on what kind of impact Chung can bring.

I would highly suggest holding off on grading this move so early for another reason: history. 

Historically, in the Belichick era, the Patriots have had a lot of trades go their way in the end. Here's a look at a few:

  • Traded a second-round pick in the 2004 draft to Cincinnati for running back Corey Dillon
  • Traded wide receiver Deion Branch to Seattle in 2006 for a first-round pick (Brandon Meriweather)
  • Traded a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft to Oakland for wide receiver Randy Moss 
  • Traded a second- and a seventh-round pick in the 2007 draft to Miami for wide receiver Wes Welker
  • Traded a first-round pick in the 2007 draft to San Francisco for a first-round pick in the 2008 Draft (Jerod Mayo)


So yes, on paper it may seem like giving up a valuable quarterback and versatile starting linebacker for a second-round pick is a bit much.

To be honest it very well may end up being way to high of a price, but my point is that it's too early to call it one way or the other.